Nearly 3,000 Attend Celebrate Recovery Summit 2005

Almost 3,000 people gathered from 44 states and 13 countries last week for the 2005 Celebrate Recovery Summit that was held at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.

During the Aug. 17-19 Summit, the program and workshops were focused on guiding ministry leaders to develop the strategy of Celebrate Recovery to reach the ones hurting in the community.

"God is calling us to reach out," said Celebrate Recovery Founder John Baker at the summit. “We'd like to come to your church and do a seminar. We have 10 chaplains here from the L.A. Rescue Mission. We want to see this used all over.”

Celebrate Recovery, which Baker founded 14 years ago, is Saddleback Church’s number one outreach program. It uses a biblically-balanced program focusing on the Word of God to help thousands of people overcome their struggle with hurts, habits and hang-ups.

The three-day conference featured guest speakers Dr. John Townsend, Dr. Henry Cloud, Craig Jutila and Megan Hutchinson, and offered a total of 19 workshops, including, “How to Grow Your Existing Celebrate Recovery,” “Prison Ministries,” “Forming Your Leadership Team,” and “How to Start the Worship Team.”

Participants also took part in small group meetings and shared testimonies, openly sharing their struggles and hurts with one another.

Another special session of the Celebrate Recovery Summit was the closing session during which attendees prayed before the cross with tears, writing their sins on sheets of paper and nailing them to the wooden crosses.

Baker continues to travel on mission trips across the country and the world to share the Celebrate Recovery message through one-day conferences.

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[Editor’s Note: Kelli Cottrell reported from Lake Forest for this article and Jennifer Chang from San Francisco.]